For those of you REALLY interested in ships and shipping, this will be an awesome sight.. It was for me..
This main character of this article is the Blue Marlin – a semi-submersible heavy lift ship designed to transport very large semi-submersible drilling rigs above the transport ship’s deck.. This ship can carry a staggering 75,000 tonnes..
Notable among its uses has been
- moving the destroyer USS Cole back to the United States after the warship was damaged by Al-Qaeda linked suicide bombers while anchored in the port of Aden, Yemen
- transporting the amphibious warship HMAS Canberra to Melbourne, Australia.. The incomplete Australian ship was lifted onto Blue Marlin on 4 August 2012 and was scheduled to sail on 12 August, bound for Australia BAE Systems shipyard in Williamstown..
- moved the gas refinery Snøhvit from its construction site in Cádiz to Hammerfest, an 11 day trip
Here in the below pics you see the Blue Marlin transporting 22 barges from Korea to Rotterdam.. They were stacked on two large platforms, secured on Blue Marlin’s submersible deck which allows the ship to sink a staggering 13 metres, allowing its cargo to be floated on and off.. Each of these barges weighs nearly 3000 tonnes..
The Blue Marlin is 712 ft long and 138ft deep – and has a deck the size of two football pitches.. It reaches a sedate top speed of 13 knots, powered by a gigantic 17,000 horse power diesel engines, with a crew of 24.. Steering it is said to be like controlling a floating office block..
The Blue Marlin, launched in 1999, is the biggest vessel of its kind.. But an even bigger sister is just around the corner.. When finished by the end of the year at its Korean shipyard, the £240 million Dockwise Vanguard will be able to carry 110,000 tonnes.. It has already been booked for its first jobs, including shipping a gigantic oil platform from Korea to the North Sea next year..
Fons van Lith, corporate secretary of Dockwise which owns the Blue Marlin, said there was no shortage of work for the vessel.. He said: ‘Safety is the key part of our business. If an oil company invests £1 billion dollars in a piece of equipment that takes two years to build, the one important thing is to get it to the other side of the world in one piece..’
Included in the below gallery are also some images of Mighty Heavy Lift Ships..